The day is over, and so does the rug pulling, this one believed to have been perpetrated earlier this week. The culprit was the Blockverse, “an on-chain Ethereum NFT that lets you play P2E feature on Minecraft unlike other”–essentially playing to earn PvP on a Minecraft server, which is only available to users who own an appropriate token. The enthusiasm for Blockverse was high. The initial stock was 10,000 NFTs that cost 0.05ETH (currently 124 dollars)) each, were sold out in just eight minutes. But a couple of hours later the creators wiped the web site, Discord server, and game server, before disappearing along with their money.
It’s a significant amount of money: The first supply sale raked in 500ETH, which equates to over $1.2 million. As per NFT ethics which monitors fraudulent activity in the blockchain industry on Twitter Additionally, there has 792ETH of “secondary sales”–that is sales by customers of the 10,000 Blockverse NFTs, to other individuals. The Blockverse owners are paid a percentage from each sale and. (OpenSea is now showing secondary sales starting at 794ETH.)
SOLD OUT IN UNDER 8 MINUTES🎉⚔️!!!
we appreciate all of you for supporting us and our community and cannot wait to start building⚡️
Official Opensea link: https://t.co/7mJGB00iBD pic.twitter.com/klcMnl66Gh
— Blockverse (@Blockverse_NFT) January 24, 2022
Following three consecutive days without a word Blockverse’s Blockverse founders returned to Twitter to express their regrets and clarify their actions. They claimed that all was in order and running smoothly following the launch of their NFTs, they went back to work on creating and expanding Blockverse. After the first round of NFTs was sold out, they started receiving complaints regarding ” gas fees“–a service fee for creating either buying or selling NFTs – being too high, not enough capacity of players for the Minecraft server and the absence of value to the tokens produced through the gaming.
“The FUD [fear, uncertainty, and doubt] quickly descended into harassment, threats, and doxxing,” the creators wrote. “The team noticed all this and panicked, deleting the discord server on impulse. Everything else was closed to prevent the continuation of harassment that had occurred so far. Even then, the plan was to reopen once everyone had time to calm down.”
“There is absolutely no reason for us to leave permanently, as all the technical work and infrastructure for the project thus far has already been put in place. It was actually more work to take things down than to leave it up, but again, everything was done in the interest of protecting personal safety.”
The scheduled returning to the action plan hasn’t occurred but it’s “because it seems the situation has only worsened” since the disappearance of the servers. It seems like it would have been a likely result in the wake of more than a million dollars, possibly several thousand dollars–losing suddenly and its users it was assigned to, despite the fact that they claim that Discord or Minecraft servers are expected to be back within the next few days and the development will continue.
“We are disappointed that the community jumped to false accusations so quickly, but we still believe in our project, and in order for everyone else to regain that faith, we are in talks with professionals in the space about how we may proceed,” the Blockverse team stated in their blog. “Our intention is to work with other trusted developers and community members, granting them access to our website, servers, and all of the backend infrastructure so that there is no risk in people’s minds of the project going offline. We’re aware of how much damage we’ve caused already, but we hope that this gesture towards the community can help us get back on track.”
The message may not convince many of its fans. A few expressed relief that they’re not left out in the cold however there’s a lot of doubt about whether the project can actually go forward. Many of the responses also affirm the opinion that the Blockverse developers only came back due to being discovered and are now working to avoid legal troubles. The members in the Blockverse community I talked to via an official Discord support channel also said the same thing.
“We have a bit of a paper trail. We have a Coinbase address that funded a lot of stuff, and a Cloudflare IP,” they stated. “They thought they got away and now they know we have that trail they left.”
The community is currently in negotiations in talks with original Blockverse developers to determine who controls the project. The main issue is that although the creators of the project were willing to transfer all the relevant contracts and codes however, they would like to keep the 500ETH that was raised from the token sale. They’ve also reportedly offered a similar deal to ArkDev the founder of NFT Worlds and with similar conditions. The validity of this offer isn’t yet clear.
It appears that the Blockverse community leaders trying to take control of the project are actually prepared to allow the creators to retain a significant portion of the cash in exchange for the keys being handed over and leaving.
“What we really want are the assets and 200-400ETH to hire people to run the project,” they added. This is still a huge loss — 100ETH is around $250,000. However, it’s the case of practicality.
“Most rug pulls recover little of anything, so the community is realistic in terms of a settlement,” they stated. “We are in agreement to letting them keep some. We just want enough to run the project.”
Rug pulls are a common occurrence they’re not unusual for teams to come back and try to get back on track in one manner or another. Discord’s community Discord is clear about their motive–“They are trying to stay clear of prosecution”–but regardless of their motives the fact is that they’ve had a the chance to recover some of the losses they’ve suffered. This puts them ahead of of other NFT frauds.
I’ve contacted the Blockverse creators to get more details and will update when I get a response.
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